Friday, April 04, 2008
Martin Luther King Jr - A Celebration of Life
I actually can remember vividly April 4th 1968. I was watching television (on the old floor model Magnavox) when the news of Martin Luther King Jr' s death was reported. I was living in Harlem New York at the time. It was like a cry of pain could be heard throughout Harlem. My mom came home from work early (she worked at Metropolitan Hospital in Manhattan).
Then the fires started. I can only liken it to Watts Riots in Los Angeles, but 10 times worst because it seemed to be nationwide.
Martin Luther King Jr was born January 15th 1929. This ordinary kid turned into one of the greatest men in African American History. (actually in World History). While living in Boston he met and married Coretta Scott and had two sons and two daughters. The Civil rights movement was a dream that King had where his children would not have to go through the discrimination he and his biological family had endured in the 30's an 40's.
On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated. His body was gone but this act actually strengthened the movement.
How far we have come today? Looking at the current political scene, I would say quite a long way. If someone told me in 1968 that we would have a valid chance of having a black man as a candidate for the highest office in this government I think I would have called them a liar.
Have we had total success in the race relations department, yes and no. As much as things change we have so much that is still the same. We still have areas in America that will not accept minorities living there. We still have issues with segregation in schools (as witnessed lately by Jena 6). We still have discrimination in the heath care arena, and the list goes on.
I think as long as America sees its residents as colors there will always be this issue. We need to get away from the visuals. In other countries Barack Obama would just a man running for office, in this country he just happens to be a "Black Man" running for office.
Until people realize that Kings Dream is not totally fulfilled then we cannot make te strives we need to in eradicating racial discrimination in this country. It is not just black and white issue, it is an issue of intolerance period. It makes me so sad.